The Vernon Blue Magnums overwhelmed the Kelowna Blue Spartans 63-6 in the Southern Interior Football Conference’s Junior Bantam championship game Sunday, Nov. 20, at Greater Vernon Athletic Park.
With the win, the Magnums advance to the B.C. final in Langley Sunday, Dec. 4. They will play either the Coquitlam Blues or Saanich Wolverines for the provincial title. Those squads play this weekend in the Lower Mainland.
“The kids understood what needed to be done and really showed up,” said Vernon’s quality control specialist and receivers coach Helmet West. “Now we focus on continuing this effort and intensity to the provincials.”
The first play of Sunday’s game saw the Spartans pressured on a toss causing a fumble which Magnum end Josh Vandenberg scooped up to steal possession. With the Spartans on their heels, Vernon began to march and would cap off the opening drive with a two-yard plunge from running back Caden O’Dwyer, the first of his two majors on the day.
Kelowna came out firing and attacked through the air hitting a receiver deep to even the score at 6-6. A stout Magnum defensive unit would tighten up those gaps moving forward and not allow any more points scored for the remainder of the game.
With ball in hand Vernon’s run game was on display. Some fantastic blocking from the offensive linemen allowed Vandenberg to crack three scores for 95 total yards on the ground; Owen West weaved through defenders for a 40-yard touchdown and Oliver Harkness snuck a goal line touch up the middle for points.
Magnum quarterback Brock Warner had the offence humming and his decision-making was largely responsible for the team’s biggest offensive outburst of the season, even getting involved on the scoring himself by hitting Vandenberg in the end zone late in the game to seal the victory.